it of '45 Express"S
Spirit of '45 Express stops at CareMore Community Center in Whittier, CA. CareMore is helping to sponsor several Spirit of '45 Day events throughout our the state, including the Spirit of '45 Week that will be held in San Jose August 4-12. More..
Times Square Kiss on National Tour in 2012
UHaul truck travels more than 30,000 miles in 5 weeks to raise public awareness about Spirit of '45 Day
National Partners U-Haul International, HISTORY, and VITAS Innovative Health Care teamed up with Atria Senior Living to sponsor a cross country tour to help keep the Spirit of '45 alive in America by raising public awareness about National Spirit of '45 Day
The tour originated in Silicon Valley with a farewell ceremony hosted by Oak Hill Funeral Home and Cemetery, a Dignity Memorial provider, and ended 5 weeks later back in San Jose, 10,000 miles later. Plans are already being made the another tour in Spring 2013 with more visits to more communities in more states!
Thanks to everyone who made the 2012 tour such an outstanding success!
The "Spirit of '45 Express" ended its 5-week cross country barnstorming tour in San Jose on June 20th, with a warm welcome from members of the San Jose City Council and California State Partner CareMore, and other groups that have been supporting Spirit of '45 Day in the San Francisco Bay Area since the movement to establish a a national day to honor the men and women of the World War II generation began in 2007. Readmore about the origins of Spirit of '45 Day...
The "Express" featured a 500 lb. 6ft version of acclaimed artist Seward Johnson's famous 25 ft sculpture depicting the "Times Square Kiss" that took place on August 14, 1945 - the day America learned that World War II was over, stirring memories of those who experienced this historic day.
Wearing '40's period clothing and military uniforms, Robert Corpus and Chris "Woody" Woodall, were treated like rock stars everywhere they went, and did a magnificent job of carrying the message about Spirit of '45 Day, making as many as a half dozen "campaign stops" and driving hundreds of miles almost every day.
Click here for Fox News Coverage of the Tour.
National Partner Vitas Innovative Hospice helped set up several successful gatherings attended by hundreds of members of the "Greatest Generation" and their famlies in Georgia, Texas and other parts of the country during the tour. Read more...
Atria Senior Living helped support this year's national campaign tour by hosting stops at about 50 of its communities in California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, and Arizona. Atria provided overnight lodging and meals to Robert and Woody as they made their way across the country.
The "Spirit of '45 Express" also visited several independent and assisted living communities managed by Emeritus Senior Living, Brookdale Senior Living, Holiday Retirement, and Vintage Senior Living during the 5 week tour that began in the San Francisco Bay area on Mother's Day.
Residents at Brookdale Place at University Park welcome the "Express" during its "whistle stop" in Birmingham to present Drs. Francis and John Carter (center) with a Spirit of '45 National Leaders Medal. The Carters founded the Association of Rosie the Riveters of America and have been tireless supporters of Spirit of '45 Day.
The image of the "Times Square Kiss" is the official symbol of National Spirit of '45 Day and appears on all marketing materials used to promote public awareness and participation in the observance of this new annual day of national reflection and renewal of the spirit of the "ordinary heroes" of the WWII generation.
The "Kiss" image represents a time when Americans everywhere came together in unity to confront historic challenges and the legacy of the individuals who went on after the war to assure a better future for their children and their children's children and to lead an unprecedented effort to reach out to help both former ally and enemy lay the foundations for a better future for their children and their children's children. Life Magazine called August 14, 1945 "a hinge of history" -- it was the "Greatest Generation's Greatest Day."
The "Kiss" brings back memories of a time when Americans put aside their differences in a spirit of shared sacrifice and mutual responsibility, working together in common cause without the dissension and divisiveness of today. It was also a time of great innovation and idealism, during which America inspired the world with it's imagination, "can do" attitude and compassion.
The Sculpture Foundation has generously provided us with the use of three life sized versions of the "Kiss" sculptures, one of which stands in front of the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor, HI and another on public view in Branson, MO. The Foundation also made it possible for a 20 ft version of Mr. Johnson's famous sculpture to be placed in Times Square as part of the first Spirit of '45 Day celebration on August 14, 2010. Read more...
Members of the Greatest Generation were eager to share their photos of when they were young couples during WWII. Their photos are being made into a giant mosaic of the "Times Square Kiss" that will be unveiled in Times Square on the 67th anniversary of the famous "kiss seen 'round the world" on August 14. Click here for more details about the WWII Couples in Love project.